The Arboretum is full of interesting and unusual trees and shrubs. Designed by ‘Capability’ Brown in 1762, it retains much of his original vision.

On 30 May 1765 Lady Shelburne’s diary noted, “…Mr Browne’s plantations are very young but promising”. Brown supplied the “forest trees”, with Lord Shelburne sourcing “curious seeds and trees”. These included cedar of Lebanon, one of Brown’s signature trees, several of which can still be seen at Bowood, including the largest cedar in Europe!

An extensive range of trees that continue to be added to can be explored in the Arboretum. There are over 700 species and 24 Champion trees. The nearby Pinetum was first laid out in 1849. Here the trees were planted in a geographical pattern according to their country of origin. Meandering through the trees leading down to the charming Doric Temple overlooking the lake makes for a pleasant walk.

Towards the end of the eighteenth century, following the advice of the Hon. Charles Hamilton of Painshill, a ‘picturesque’ rock landscape, with a cascade, grottoes and a hermit’s cave, was constructed below Brown’s dam at the head of the lake.

Garden Tours

Whether you’re a tour operator, special interest group or planning to visit with friends and family, we have a variety of garden tours and packages at Bowood House & Gardens to suit all interests.

A guided tour of the enchanting landscape awaits you, with a flowing mix of plantations and sweeping lawns leading down to a mile long lake. Behind the Georgian house through a secret door is Lord and Lady Lansdowne’s Private Walled Garden. Offering guided tours of the four distinct one-acre square garden’s comprising of formal borders, a picking garden, glass houses and a working kitchen garden.

Groups can enjoy a beautiful day visiting Lord and Lady Lansdowne’s family home, surrounded by acres of ‘Capability’ Brown landscape and stunning gardens. With the option for groups to enjoy at their own leisure or to book a guided tour.


Enjoy an exclusive guided tour of the Marquis and Marchioness of Lansdowne’s Private Walled Gardens, surrounding Bowood House.

We offer the opportunity for guests to book onto our monthly guided tours dates.   Groups of 12 or more, a tour can be organised on a weekday of your choice with discounted rates. For more information please email or telephone 01249 810961.


Wiltshire’s Bowood House and Gardens, set within 2,000 acres of Grade I listed ‘Capability’ Brown parkland, making it the perfect location for outdoor learning and adventures. With school groups in mind, Bowood has devised a selection of specially-themed tours that will capture the imagination of Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 pupils.


You may wish to book a group of 12 guests or more on to a special ‘Capability’ Brown themed garden tour. The Bowood landscape has an exceptionally interesting history which will be revealed in this special tour.


Forthcoming Special Events

Become a Bowood Detective and explore the Arboretum! Ask for an activity book at Admissions!